Marion Blumenthal Lazan's unforgettable memoir Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story (Greenwillow Books) recalls the devastating years that shaped her childhood. Following Hitler's rise to power, the Blumenthal family -- father, mother, Marion, and her brother, Albert -- were trapped in Nazi Germany. They managed eventually to get to Holland, but soon thereafter it was occupied by the Nazis. For the next six and a half years the Blumenthals were forced to live in refugee, transit, and prison camps that included Westerbork in Holland and the notorious Bergen-Belsen in Germany. Though they all survived the camps, Walter Blumenthal, Marion's father, succumbed to typhus just after liberation. It took three more years of struggle and waiting before Marion, Albert, and their mother at last obtained the necessary papers and boarded ship for the United States. Their story is one of horror and hardship, but it is also a story of courage, hope, and the will to survive. An outstanding speaker, Marion Blumenthal Lazan has shared her moving first-hand account of the Blumenthal family's life in Germany, from the events preceding Kristallnacht to imprisonment in concentration camps to liberation in April of 1945, with upwards of one million students and adults. Her Holocaust experiences and messages of respect and tolerance go beyond the facts and inspire audiences around the world. The praise she has received from event hosts is remarkable as she evokes life-changing responses time and time again. She has spoken in public, parochial and private schools, colleges and universities, to church and synagogue groups, and to civic organizations across the United States and internationally. Marion Blumenthal Lazan lives in New York with her husband Nathaniel. They have three married children, nine beautiful grandchildren and two incredible great-granddaughters.
"Perl weaves the story of the Holocaust with a survivor's personal memories of what happened to her family. The writing is direct, devastating, with no rhetoric or exploitation. The truth is in what's said and in what's left out... The personal facts bring it home." "-- ALA Booklist" (starred review)
"Lazan's recollections, along with occasional quotes from her mother, are intertwined with Perl's background narrative to make a smooth factual flow." "-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books" "Amid a growing number of memoirs about the Holocaust, this book warrants attention both for the uncommon experiences it records and for the fullness of that record... It is unusually complete, not only in its skillful presentation of the historical context but in its treatment of the Blumenthal's horrifying journey." "-- Publishers Weekly" "This gripping memoir is written in spare, powerful prose that vividly depicts the endless degradation and humiliation suffered by the Holocaust's innocent victims, as well as the unending horror of life in the camps. It's also and ennobling account of the triumph of the human spirit, as seen through a child's eyes." "-- Kirkus Reviews"